BP 'shortcuts' and the blame game
Our Readers Who Comment are busy blaming BP, or those dratted federal regulators, or President Obama for the oil-spewing disaster in the Gulf of Mexico after two House Democrats leading an investigation said BP took shortcuts "to reduce costs and save time" to bring the well on line.
Some readers are furious about the shortcuts. Some are furious that regulations may not have been followed. Some are furious that there even are regulations and argue that companies will do the right thing because it is in their interests to do so. The president gets drilled as usual, but a number of Democratic-sounding readers find it interesting that the Red Gulf States, which often decry federal intervention, are whining about what they see as inadequate federal help.
As Steven Mufson and Anne E. Kornblut write, "The money that BP allegedly saved [with the shortcuts] seems trivial in light of the blowout that killed 11 Deepwater Horizon rig workers and led to the oil spill that has polluted large swaths of the gulf. But given the daily costs of $1 million to $2 million to run a drilling rig, they appear to have been a big factor in the decision-making."
The president will address the nation tonight about the situation and columnist Eugene Robinson writes, "How well Obama learns to communicate empathy and passion while staying true to himself is relevant to his long-term effectiveness... [but] The issue isn't what Obama is feeling, it's what he's doing."
We'll start with nychap44, who asked, "Are you serious? To save time? This entire disaster was caused because someone wanted to save time?... The gallows to the fools who cut corners and wanted to save time. No trial for those criminals. Just execute them ASAP. We want to save time and money too."
gvelanis said, "If even half of what in this article is true, people need to go to jail. Of course they won't. Thousands should have gone to jail in the financial meltdown, but not one of them did. Instead the crooks were rewarded with bonuses and buyouts. Our country is broken beyond repair, a South American banana republic."
shadowmagician wrote, "To the fine people of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida - you are the ones to suffer because a few people with connections and money wanted more money. My heart goes out to you."
WealthyFinancialExecutive provided an extended rant that said, among other things, "...Regulations written in the 1960s don't have anything to do with the reality of drilling today, yet BP and all other companies in this industry are still tasked with compliance with these idiotic laws, which were outdated the moment they hit the books. Compliance with these laws actually causes conditions to be less safe than the best practices in use by the industry, so BP is forced to make their workers less safe, in order to comply with the law... Regulations don't work as leftists believe they do. Regulation is the wrong way to solve problems..."
To which jmdziuban1 provided a point-by-point response, closing with "If you really are what your moniker claims... I understand why our economy is in such a mess."
crikey said, "Thank you for this initial report. No surprises on BP management's disregard for safety or following "voluntary" recommendations. They were just doing what they do best, taking liberties for their masters' and their own gain and, not a concern for the public trust. Business as usual where there's money for nothing and the chicks are free. Good goin', BP."
liveride demanded, "Remove BP from Cleanup Operation! They are the Criminals!! The USA should hire Private Companies to do it and Bill all Expenses to BP. BP executives are still Lying about Oil Spill Rates, Lying about Oil Plums, Lying about Intimidating Cleanup Workers from discussing the spill, and Nickel and Diming Cleanup and Reparations while setting aside Billions for Stockholder Dividends. This Oil spill is an Attack on America and these guys should be arrested Immediately..."
TraderB said, "Obama is the worst person to handle any crisis. He is a typical academic, engaging in endless discussion, when action is needed."
pbarnett52 wrote, "I am not defending BP. BP cut corners etc. not only to save money but because they could. They could because the regulating agency was eviscerated by the laizze faire, anti-government Senators and Representatives as well as most Presidents beginning with Reagan..."
Thinker1 said, "Consider how oil and gas companies think about starting production, or downtime in wells. A lost day of production is not just a one day delay... it is recovered only at the end of the life of the well (worth about nothing in todays dollars). I was involved some years back in a tie-in to a big gas line, requiring it to be shut down briefly. The gas company spent wildly to reduce the downtime to a minimum."
xxxxxx1 wrote, "seize bp assets now. time to enforce the laws on corporations for a change."
But lip111, presumably with tongue in cheek, said, "Big corporations need to be left alone - no big gov't. How can you compare benefiting BP's shareholders with $20 billion in profit per year compared to a few oil covered pelicans or dead fish? Corporations will regulate themselves and we need to trust them. No big gov't. So what if a few thousand square miles are dead in the Gulf - we need the jobs. And the other businesses like fishing or tourism can go to hell. Big corporations need to be given special privileges over smaller business - it's a pure and simple example of capitalism in action, survival of the fittest."
bradfordpeterson wrote, "We need a rotating team of EPA agents on each of these rigs, their salaries to be fully paid by the rig owner/operator. This greedy nonsense that BP undertook would have been prevented with good government oversight."
pgr88 said, "Obama is a buffoon. He's not a leader, he's the Community-Activist in Chief. No one blames him for the spill but his constant triangulating to try for the best political spin and constant blaming is petty and stupid"
Rozinante2 wrote, "...it seems like BP, Transocean and Halliburton need to answer a specific, pointed question: Which is it - either some people or some corporation screwed up and caused this, in which case the mistakes need to be described in agonizing detail, or everything was by the book, in which case the book is wrong and needs to be re-written before more deepwater drilling is allowed."
ggwalt said, "One of the questions I don't hear being asked is why the Gulf states, excluding Florida, weren't more proactive about protecting their coastline, given all that's at stake... Florida said no to offshore drilling due to the risk to its tourism industry. All the other Gulf states just looked the other way while the number of oil rigs in the Gulf exploded 10 fold without adequate regulation or people to provide oversight...The states don't have an oil disaster plan in place, yet expect the federal government to fix this problem pronto?... These are all red states, interestingly enough, who are now demanding the federal government come to the rescue."
And mlipsius asked, "Hey small government, pro oil company conservatives---how's that workin' for ya these days? It certainly is ironic that those who bellyache about the intrusion of the federal government now have their palms out waiting for federal aid to clean up the Gulf coast after this BP oil spill..."
fwrds asked, "How does a corporation get so big, it get's to calculate the profit possible, if it squashes the little guy, trashes the ocean and beaches. How big do you need to be, that ethics no longer matter, that law no longer matters, that lives no longer matter.
And why do we let corporations grow this large. And why when they are so large and careless that they are ready to fail, do we rescue them...."
We'll close with MadamDeb, who wrote, "Note to BP: Please don't go into the Nuclear Power Plant business."
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